Santa Margarita River Trail

MODERATE 545 reviews

Santa Margarita River Trail is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Fallbrook, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
715 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

I-15 N to Fallbrook exit. Take Mission Rd. 5 mi. E; turn N onto Pico Ave. (becomes De Luz Rd.). Continue 2.4 mi.; go R @ fork onto Sandia Creek Dr. N. Parking area is in 1 mi. (just before bridge); trailhead is E of lot.

hiking
5 days ago

6 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

I agree with a couple of the other reviews that this is not a moderate trail, I would consider this an easy trail. There are trail markers but I would note that at the view point crossing sign go left unless you just want the higher view point then go right but it is just a viewpoint. When you go left you will come to the edge of the river and the trail continues on the other side. Please note there is no bridge or rocks to hop across so be prepared to get wet. The deepest point was about 25" when we crossed. Keep an eye out for crawdads, fish and frogs. The first part of this hike is well shaded by many trees, after you cross the river there is not much shade but look for the plaque and the modern drawing on the large rock just beyond the plaque. Very fun beautiful hike but would not do this during the cold months, do to the water crossing.

hiking
11 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

16 days ago

18 days ago

Perfect hike for families and dogs.

horseback riding
18 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

backpacking
25 days ago

Awesome trail! I wouldn't say this is a moderate trail...fairly easy to be honest. There are a lot of activities to do if you have kiddos with you. Our baby did this trail very well and she's only two. Only had to carry her the last .5, which was really awesome!!
Trail is pretty well kept and taken care of. Plan extra time if you want to explore then little loops within the trail.

hiking
25 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

birding
26 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Does the trail actually cross the river? Are there trail markers?

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Nice, well maintained, trail with lots of shade & some really pretty views. Would definitely go back!

hiking
1 month ago

This is my favorite San Diego trail by far. It's a beautiful, well maintained trail along a clean river that weaves in and out of trees. Perfect for people living in the city who need to recharge in nature :)

1 month ago

I really enjoy this trail. I love that it is near water and still have water in it during the summer. My 2 year old loves seeing all the horses that also use this trail. Lots of points to access the creek. Nice shaded areas too.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago